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What Should Athletes Eat Before a Game?

By Andrea Cespedes, Healthy Eating, 02/13/19, 12:00PM CST


If you have less than 30 minutes, getting some liquid nutrition may be best. 

What you eat before an important athletic event can make or break your performance. You want food that’s going to give you energy without weighing you down or making you feel sluggish on the field, court, track or pitch. Not eating can have consequences, including poor energy and concentration, nausea, muscle weakness and dizziness. Plan your pregame meal by considering how long you have before the event and what nutrients are most important for a winning performance.

Nutrition Timing and Successful Play

You need about three hours to fully digest a complete meal. When you have those full three hours, you can get away with a bowl of oats with berries and milk, a turkey sandwich on wheat with a side of fruit and pretzels or a chicken burrito in a flour tortilla with lettuce and mild salsa.